Skip to Content
History and cultural memory in neo-Victorian fiction; Victorian afterimages

History and cultural memory in neo-Victorian fiction; Victorian afterimages

Mitchell, Kate

Arguing that neo-Victorian fiction enacts and celebrates cultural memory, this book uses memory discourse to position these novels as dynamic participants in the contemporary historical imaginary. It revises historical fiction's relationship to history and moves critical debates on from a reductive focus on the problematics of representation. History and Cultural Memory in Neo-Victorian Fiction combines innovative literary and historiographical analysis to investigate the way neo-Victorian novels conceptualise our relationship to the Victorian past, and to analyse their role in the production and communication of historical knowledge. Positioning neo-Victorian novels as dynamic participants in the contemporary historical imaginary, it explores their use of the Victorians' own vocabularies of history, memory and loss to re-member the nineteenth century today. While her focus is neo-Victorian fiction, Mitchell positions these novels in relation to debates about historical fiction's contribution to historical knowledge since the eighteenth century. Her use of memory discourse as a framework for understanding the ways in which they do lay claim to historical recollection, one which opens up a range of questions beyond historical fidelity on the one hand, and the problematics of representation on the other, suggests new ways of thinking about contemporary historical fiction and its prevalence, popular appeal, and nmnenonic function today. This ebook is participating in an experiment and is available Open Access under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0) licence. Users are free to disseminate and reuse the ebook. The licence does not however permit commercial exploitation or the creation of derivative works without specific permission. To view a copy of this license visit For more information about the experiment visit our FAQs

eBook, Electronic resource, Book. English.
Published Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010
Rate this

This resource is available electronically from the following locations

Available at Online Resources.

This item is not reservable because:

  • There are no reservable copies for this title. Please contact a member of library staff for further information.
  • Online Resources – One available in ELECTRONIC BOOKS

    Barcode Shelfmark Loan type Status
    ELECTRONIC BOOKS Reference Available


Statement of responsibility: Kate Mitchell
ISBN: 0230283128, 9780230283121
Note: Electronic book text.
Note: Epublication based on: 9780230228580, 2010.
Biography: KATE MITCHELL is a Lecturer in English Literature at the Australian National University, Australia.
Physical Description: 232 p.
System: PDF.
Note: Document
Subject: Literature.; Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers.; Literary studies: c 1900 to c 2000 20th century, c 1900 to c 1999.; Literary studies: from c 1900 -.; Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers 20th century, c 1900 to c 1999.


  1. Acknowledgements Introduction: 'I told You we'd been invaded by Victoriana' Memory Texts: History, Fiction and the Historical Imaginary Contemporary Victorian(ism)s A Fertile Excess: Waterland, Desire and the Historical Sublime (Dis)Possessing Knowledge: A. S. Byatt's Possession: A Romance 'Making it seem like it's authentic': the faux-Victorian Novel as Cultural Memory in Affinity and Fingersmith 'The alluring patina of loss': Photography, Memory, and Memory Texts in Sixty Lights and Afterimage Conclusion: 'What will count as history?' Endnotes Bibliography Index.